Portlandfiction.net is the online home of a group of Portland-based writers currently calling themselves "The Portland Fiction Project." Everyday we feature a short story by one of our writers.
Each week, the authors in The Portland Fiction Project write on a suggestion word. The suggestion word can be used literally or abstractly. The word helps shape the story in some way. Then, we gather and workshop all the individual stories. Every story is meant to stand on its own and the author retains control. For that story, the process ends there.
However, we also look for the common threads within our stories. The origin of these commonalities is unknown. Sometimes they seem coincidental. For example if the suggestion was "apple", two writers may both unwittingly write stories with a main character who is a priest. These strange patterns and coincidences routinely occur. And in these patterns lie statements and questions to be drawn from the larger piece. The group's exploration of that suggestion. For that suggestion, the process ends there.
But, the suggestions are also grouped together thematically. For one grouping, our writers wrote about wedding anniversary materials(Paper, Silver, Leather and Lace). Sometimes the suggestion theme is potential answers to a question ("What Makes a Relationship?" - Grit, Truth, Chemistry, Destiny). This is where the piece really ends and interpretation begins. If the tone of all the stories written using "Paper"(1st Anniversary) seem happier than those using "Lace"(13th Anniversary), those are conclusions to be drawn from the greater piece.
The images for each grouping of suggestions are inspired by or taken directly from the stories written using those suggestions. The images and layout change to suit the tone and objects used in the stories. In this way, the appearance of the website is intended to reflect the suggestions as well.